Welcome to Cycletopia! It's made up of 15 elements CTC believes is crucial to making a cycle friendly town. Click on different parts of the town to find out more about each element and hear about where it is being done well in real life.


Welcome to Cycletopia! It's made up of 15 elements CTC believes is crucial to making a cycle friendly town. Click on different parts of the town to find out more about each element and hear about where it is being done well in real life.

If you want to help turn your town into Cycletopia, have a look at our 10 step plan and advice on getting involved in local campaigning.

Well designed, signed and maintained cycle routes through green, motor-traffic free areas provide the most pleasant cycling experiences for most people.

The Comber Greenway is a tranquil green corridor through East Belfast, it is an excellent example of a long distance cycle path that offers a safe environment for beginner cyclists.

In many parts of the country these sorts of routes - often as part of Sustrans' National Cycle Network - offer a way for children or novice cyclists to gain more confidence.

York’s Millennium Bridge links two residential areas across the River Ouse – enabling short trips to be made without having to negotiate the heavy traffic on the rest of the city centre bridges.
Main roads are often the biggest problems facing cyclists - and those trying to plan cycle networks. Usually some form of dedicated space cyclists must be provided. Brighton has just introduced new ‘hybrid’ cycle lanes along Old Shoreham Road, one of the main roads in the city.

These lanes have priority over traffic turning out of side roads and at main junctions cyclists are given a few seconds headstart with a separate signal.

An example of where this is already working well in the UK is Cambridge.

In the busy city centre, bikes and pedestrians are permitted - and can share the space happily - but cars or delivery lorries are restricted for all or part of the time.

Road closures with cycle gaps can also open up cycle routes on quiet streets, creating a time-advantage over driving as well as a safer and more pleasant journey.

Lancashire is powering ahead with introducing 20 mph to residential areas over the whole county.

Furthermore, many towns and cities have also adopted 20 mph as the normal speed limit for residential and shopping streets, with over 8 million people now living in places with lower speed limits planned or implemented.

Lorries are a serious threat to cyclists and a major deterrent to non-cyclists.

Removing them from busy streets at the busiest times would make a difference. In Cambridge, Outspoken Delivery use freight bikes to deliver goods during the period when motor vehicles are banned from the city centre.

A local independent bike shop will help you find the right bike for you, with a range of bikes to suit all types of cycling. Many shops also offer a discount for CTC members.

The Association of Cycle Traders have a full list and map of local bike shops. CTC's Cyclists Welcome allows you to search for bike shops in your local area and see what discounts they offer for CTC members.


Nationally, just one in 50 pupils travels to school by bike, but almost 60% of pupils cycle to the Cherwell School in Oxford – and only 1 in 10 by car.

The school runs cycle maintenance workshops, there’s an active cycling club and they even campaign to improve road conditions for cyclists.

Businesses involved in the cycle trade or manufacture of bikes or parts for bikes often have a higher proportion of staff who cycle regularly and these workplaces can inspire others.

The bike manufacturer Trek's office in Milton Keynes managed to get over three quarters of the staff cycling to work during the Milton Keynes Workplace Challenge.

Closer integration with public transport – particularly the railways – means longer distance trips can be made more easily by bike.

The Leeds Cycle Point was the first of its kind when opened a couple of years ago. It provides secure cycle parking with hire and repair facilities, as close as possible to the station. Other stations are now following suit, with over £7m devoted to improving rail station facilities earlier this year.

Merseyrail, the Dutch-operated train company based in and around Liverpool, permits cycles at any time and even promotes cycle routes starting and finishing from their stations.

Whereas other rail operators pointedly ban bikes during major events, Merseyrail actively promotes the Liverpool-Chester bike ride, running extra trains to bring the riders back.

Public bike share schemes such as London’s Barclays Cycle Hire have become a very popular addition to towns and cities.

Since the scheme started in 2010, there have been over 14 million trips made. Other cities are looking at the model, with several more schemes likely to appear over the next few years.

Schools that offer good quality (on-road) cycle training, storage and promote cycling can achieve spectacular results.

Recent research suggested that adults are more likely to take up cycling again if they had cycle training as a child. In the North East of England there were Bikeability places for almost 80% of the Year 6 children in 2009/10.

To find out more visit:

In Edinburgh, The Bike Station started over 10 years ago as a voluntary recycling scheme but now employs over a dozen people and provides skills and support for many more.

The Bike Station also refurbishes bikes to keep them from the scrapheap and gives them to those who need them. Hundreds of bikes have been recycled and masses of individuals gained maintenance and other skills.


The Welsh Government is proposing legislation, which would require all local authorities to map out cycling networks, and to plan and implement improvements.

It is also looking at ways to simplify the cumbersome legal process for creating cycle tracks.

Cambridge is as close to Cycletopia as you can get in Britain
Cycletopia may not exist in Britain yet, but the each of the elements could be replicated in any town. If you want to get involved in seeing Cycletopia in your town, you can join your local cycle campaign, create your own cycle campaign, or become an accredited representative of CTC locally.

Cycletopia won't happen by itself; it'll take concerted effort from councils, businesses, schools and, of course, campaigners, to make it happen.

Here are 10 steps to help turn your town into ‘Cycletopia’:

  1. firstly, and most simply, report potholes and poor road maintenance on
  2. there are over 400 CTC local cycle campaigners and many more campaign groups in towns and cities, get involved in your local campaign group or contact your local CTC campaigner
  3. find allies in other organisations or groups, such as health professionals, environmental groups and cycle-friendly councillors
  4. map out the routes where cyclists most need to get to, the barriers they face, and where improvements can be made
  5. find out who makes the decisions and who holds the funds - this is likely to be the local councillors for your highway authority
  6. take your proposals to your councillors and local cycle forum (if one exists!)
  7. take your councillors and officers out on bikes to visualise improvements
  8. look out for major planning developments, where much of the funding for better facilities will come from
  9. ask CTC for advice, assistance or resources such as campaigns briefings
  10. don’t give up!

If you are already involved in campaigning or want to get involved with campaigning in your local area, you can sign up to be a local CTC representative. CTC's also has advice on how to set up a local campaign group in your area.

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